14 days into 2022 and things are looking much the same as 2021, despite all of our *manifesting* to bring good vibes, or something. To top it all off, if you’re ready for a sedate year in cybersecurity news, you won’t find it in 2022.
So what is this year bringing?
Well, according to some predictions from Norton, the next 12 months promise to be busy ones in the world of cybersecurity. The team at Norton Labs has made six predictions for 2022, here they are.
Cybersecurity prediction 1: Cryptocurrency’s ‘oh no’ moment
Cryptocurrency hype isn’t going anywhere just yet, especially now companies/platforms that enable the buying and selling of crypto are a hell of a lot more mainstream.
This will likely lead to more casual investors who do not fully understand the nuances of how cryptocurrencies work, however.
“Scammers have been using those misunderstandings to separate people from their coins, and with this new set of new users, we expect a big increase in the number of scams out there,” Norton says.
So how do you find ‘em and avoid being one of the duped? Well, the new scams will look mostly like the old scams, and there’s going to be a new wave of creative attempts to target this new, larger set of potential victims. So, do your research, folks, and if it smells like a scam, it probably is.
Cybersecurity prediction 2: Consumer online tracking will get more pervasive
Tracking users’ online behaviour has fuelled the internet economy for years, through targeted advertisement and personalisation services. This is kind of divisive, as some people enjoy targeted content, and some don’t.
While Norton says consumers generally don’t mind some cookies, at least those known as first-party cookies which are limited to a specific site. Third-party cookies, though, are more worrying. These are known as tracking cookies because they follow you as you move around the web. As a result, some people feel as though they’re being spied on.
It’s not all bad news, though, as advancements made in the tech itself will be matched, according to Norton, on the legislative front, too.
Cybersecurity prediction #3: Your digital identity will grow
COVID has forced the entire planet to work, communicate, take care of their health – basically do everything online. This, Norton says, should light a fire under those developing official digital identities.
“There is now a greater need for a secure, unforgeable, privacy protecting set of credentials that can be issued, transmitted and verified with confidence and ease,” they say.
Norton expects rapid progress in the world of digital identities in 2022.
One thing is for certain: life can only become more digitised.
Cybersecurity prediction #4: Expect more protest, vigilantism and terrorism
The primary goal of cybercriminals is to make money; they might carry out phishing campaigns to steal your login credentials or tech support scams to separate people from their money.
But the motivation of hacking isn’t always so straightforward. Sometimes it bends toward using cyber intrusion as a form of protest. Hacker activists, or hacktivists, apply their craft to achieve political outcomes. They do this by disrupting governments, spreading fear or bringing some information to light.
Hacktivism and cyber terrorism were alive and well in 2021, revealing information governments would have preferred to keep secret. Norton expects to see these type of cybersecurity attacks continue, if not increase, given their reach and potential influence.
Cybersecurity prediction #5: Scammers will follow the disaster opportunity
Disasters have always been big business for scammers and Norton doesn’t see this trend going away any time soon. But, they do expect more disasters and more money to be moving around.
We’ve already seen that scammers never let a crisis go to waste, with scammers swinging into action after devastating storms, fires and throughout the pandemic.
“Whenever there is money flowing from insurance companies or the government to the victims of natural disasters, there is someone who will try to exploit that situation, either by committing fraud with stolen identities or scamming people directly,” Norton says.
If the trend continues, and there are more and more natural disasters and extreme weather events, we expect to see more scammers ready to cash in. Ugh.
Cybersecurity prediction #6: AI/ML will also make life easier for criminals
Artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning are becoming more accessible to more people. But as it makes life easier for the average consumer, it also makes things easier for the bad guys.
One trend expected to showcase this is deepfakes, which although they gained a lot of buzz in 2018, deepfake tech is getting better and more easy to access, and as the tech gets better and easier to use, it will become a useful tool for criminals, scammers, stalkers and activists.
There’s also the prediction of attacks powered by large datasets. With all the data that is now available from various breaches, criminals could profile people to identify who is more likely to fall for certain types of attacks or scams.
Stay safe out there, folks, it looks grim.